Spirit of Vengeance
by Phil Perich for the True Believers Blog
Ghost Rider has arrived on the current season of Agents of Shield. Who is this mysterious figure that brings vengeance and punishment to the guilty? There have been a number of people to claim the name and mantle of Ghost Rider.
The first use of the name Ghost Rider was by several men in the Old West, Including Carter Slade. While this Ghost Rider convinced others he was a supernatural figure, he was just a vigilante in a costume. After the creation of the motorcycle riding Ghost Rider in 1972, the Wild West version’s name was changed to Night Rider, and then Phantom Rider.
Probably the most well known version and the man who spent the most time as a host to the Spirit of Vengeance is Johnny Blaze. Blaze was a motorcycle stunt rider who made a deal with the devil (Mephisto) to save the life of his adoptive father who was also the father of his lover Roxanne Simpson. At first Blaze was able to temper the demon within him but eventually Zarathos became almost as dangerous as the evils he fought. Blaze was eventually able to free himself from Zarathos, but has been possessed by the entity a few more times.
The next version of the Ghost Rider was a young man by the name of Danny Ketch. After his sister is killed by ninja gansters, Danny finds a mystically infused motorcycle that transforms him into a new version of the Ghost Rider. For most of Danny’s Ghost Rider series the identity of this Ghost Rider entity was unknown. A few issues before the end, the entity is revealed to be the Marvel Universe’s version of the Angel of death and/or judgment. It is also revealed that Danny and his sister were the long lost siblings of Johnny Blaze.
After Danny Ketch is freed from the curse of the Ghost Rider and Johnny Blaze has once again become the Ghost Rider, A young woman named Alejandra Jones is put through a ritual performed by a man named Adam to give her the powers and identity of the Ghost Rider. Alejandra is only possessed for a short time and gains abilities the previous hosts never showed before Johnny Blaze takes back the power.
The current version of the Ghost Rider and the one appearing now on Agents of Shield is a teenager named Robbie Reyes. instead of a motorcycle, this Ghost Rider drives a modified 1969 Dodge Charger that is possessed by the spirit of former Satanic serial killer Eli Morrow, who later is revealed to be Robbie’s estranged uncle. After Johnny Blaze meets the new Ghost Rider and uses the penance stare on him, Robbie and Eli come to an agreement. Robbie will help Eli satisfy his need for murder, but only by killing evil souls.
There you go, everything you need to know about the Ghost Riders. Who is YOUR favorite? Let me know!
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You can hear me discussing all things Marvel (comics, movies, TV) every week with my cohost Charlie Esser (@CharlieEsser) on the All New Marvel Roundup and Superconnectivity, both part of the Nuff Said Podcast. I also write another blog, the Legends of DC and do a podcast of the same name. You can find all my podcasts, blogs and those of others at www.southgatemediagroup.com. You can also find all my creative endeavors at www.philperich.wordpress.com.
Until next time be good, or the Rider will come for YOU!